Woman Leads Police on a High-Speed Chase on Busy Missoula Roads
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On September 30th, 2022, at approximately 8:51 a.m., multiple people called 911 to report that a Chevrolet Avalanche heading Northbound on Highway 93 South was speeding and driving very dangerously. One person said that the vehicle almost struck another vehicle head-on driving in the opposite direction on the highway.
A Missoula Police Department officer was patrolling in the area of the Metro Car Wash, and upon dispatch notification, drove across the street to HuHot to get in a better position to locate the suspect vehicle.
As the officer turned around in the parking lot and began facing Brooks Street, the vehicle drove past the officer at a high rate of speed. The officer noted that the female driver clearly turned her head and looked directly at the officer. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold picks up the story.
Get Out of the Way
“An officer observed the vehicle enter city limits going above the posted speed limit,” Arnold said. “The officer initiated a traffic stop with their lights and sirens. Rather than pulling over, the driver, Haileigh Current, accelerated and did not pull over.”
The officer noted that as the vehicle was fleeing, they were traveling at over 60 MPH and driving into oncoming lanes. The suspect vehicle forced at least two vehicles to swerve to either side of the roadway.
The officer then observed the vehicle turn northbound onto Paxson and accelerate up to 65 MPH while approaching Southgate Mall. The vehicle then turned in the mall and took a right turn, traveling in front of the Mustard Seed at speeds exceeding 40 MPH.
Trouble at the Roundabout
As the vehicle approached the roundabout to the east of the Mustard Seed, the officer saw a cargo van entering the roundabout. The suspect vehicle nearly caused a T-bone collision with the van before quickly swerving around the front of it and launching over the roundabout.
“Due to the unsafe driving observed, the reported unsafe driving, and the reported vehicle accidents caused by Current’s driving, officers continued with the pursuit and eventually used driving techniques to block the vehicle to ensure it would not continue driving and endangering the public,” Arnold said.
The vehicle continued around the mall at high speeds until it came to a stop on the North side of Scheels. Directly in front of where the vehicle had briefly stopped, the officer observed a large cutout area in the building where there were trash compacting dumpsters.
From where the vehicle was positioned, the officer knew the driver could easily turn left or right and continue the pursuit. Due to Current’s wildly erratic and dangerous driving behavior, the officer made low-speed contact with the rear bumper of her vehicle and accelerated forward, pushing her vehicle into the dumpster area and taking away any avenues of escape.
Officer Orders Driver Out at Gunpoint
“Current was taken into custody,” Arnold said. “During the preliminary investigation, officers spoke with witnesses and victims. This case is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department Detective Division.”
The officer said that Current's behavior and mannerisms were all consistent with a person who is under the influence of a stimulant, such as methamphetamine. Current consented to providing a sample of her blood. She was transported to Saint Patrick’s Hospital and her blood was drawn. Current was then transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility.
While enroute to the jail, Current said that she was overwhelmed with excitement after finding out that a family member was going to have a baby. According to court documents, she said that she got even more excited when “her song” came on the radio which caused her to drive too fast. During the arrest, the officer noticed that the stereo in Current’s vehicle was playing at full volume. She stated that she did not know that officers were behind her attempting to pull her over.
Current is currently being charged with felony criminal endangerment and fleeing from a peace officer.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.